Vardon profits fall 22%

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The Independent Online
"Subdued customer demand" at the London Dungeon contributed to a 22 per cent fall in first-half profits at Sea Life Centre leisure group Vardon yesterday and the resignation of two directors. The company's shares fell 18p to 90p as the market digested the bad news.

Vardon said slow attendance and lower-than-expected profit continued into July, though business improved last month. David Mace, who headed up the attractions division, and his brother Guy Mace, a non-executive director, left the company following a "review of the future development strategy'' of the division, the company said.

Pre-tax profit for the six months to June fell to pounds 1.8m from pounds 2.3m a year ago, prompting the collapse in the share price to its lowest level for more than three years. More than 820,000 shares changed hands, compared with a three-month daily average of about 264,100.